That city is Bath. Once the home of aristocrats looking to escape London, little has changed over the years. Londoners still flock here on rare sunny weekends to stroll the tight cobbled streets and browse the shops filled with local treasures.
Over the years, filmmakers from Hollywood to Bollywood have also come knocking on Bath’s door, looking to use its largely untouched scenery in films as diverse as The Other Boleyn Girl, Persuasion and Hot Fuzz. Over 30 movies in all, starting from the 1930s, have been filmed here.
Attractions and their Films:
- Abbey Churchyard is actually the center of Bath, dominated by the historical Abbey (1499), surrounded by a bustling square.
Films- Persuasion (1994), Other People’s Children (2000), Bertie & Elizabeth (2001), Persuasion (2006).
- The Roman Baths were built over Bath’s hot springs over 2000 years ago and became the center of the Roman town, Aquae Sulis.
Film- Bonekickers (2008).
- Above the Roman Baths is the 18th century Pump Room. Jane Austen describes a visit here to take the waters.
Films- The Music Lovers (1969), Persuasion (1994), Persuasion (2006), Bonekickers (2008).
- Abbey Green a cobbled square full of alleyways, such as North Parade Passage.
Films- Persuasion (1994), Dracula (2006).
- Bath Street is an elegant colonnaded street that links the Roman Baths with the Thermae Bath Spa. It is unadorned by shop signs so lends itself well to filming as little has to be changed to capture Bath of the 18th century.
Films- Persuasion (1994), Persuasion (2006)
- Beauford Square, behind the Theatre Royal, is untouched by modern development.
Film- Vanity Fair (2004)
- Great Pulteney Street, just across Pulteney Bridge, and 1100 feet long, straight and broad and was designed for a carriage to turn around. Holburne Museum marks the far end of the street and was originally the Sydney Hotel. The Sydney Gardens was a favorite place for Jane Austen and she set her novel Northanger Abbey in the houses of Great Pulteney Street. The social reformer William Wilberforce, and William Smith, the father of geology who created the ‘map that changed the world’ also lived here.
Films- Vanity Fair (2004), Cheeni Kum (2006). The Duchess (2007) was filmed at the Holburne Museum.
- Just off Great Pulteney Street is Sydney Place where, at No 4, Jane Austen lived.
Films- Persuasion (1994) and Vanity Fair (2004)
- The Royal Crescent is the grandest and most awe-inspiring of the Georgian crescents in Bath. It is also by far, the most well-known and helped Bath gain its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The crescent has 30 houses and was built by John Wood the Younger. No 1 Royal Crescent is a recreated town house showing the type of lodgings fashionable, and wealthy, visitors to Georgian Bath would have taken.
Films- Vanity Fair (1967), Joseph Andrews (1976), Northanger Abbey (1987), Inspector Morse (1997), Persuasion (2006), The Duchess (2007)
- The intriguing Circus was begun in 1754 by John Wood the Elder, the principal architect of the Georgian Bath. Artist Thomas Gainsborough, and statesman William Pitt lived here.
Films- A Respectable Trade (1997), Persuasion (2006)
- The Assembly Rooms were built by Wood the Younger between 1769-71 and soon became the centre of fashionable society. The rooms include the Ball Room, which at 105 feet long is the largest Georgian room in Bath. The Tea Room and the pretty Octagon complete the Rooms and in the basement is the Fashion Museum, which charts the history of fashion from the 18th century to the present day.
Films- Northanger Abbey (1987), Persuasion (1994), Bertie & Elizabeth (2001), Persuasion (2006), The Duchess (2007), Bonekickers (2008)
About twenty minutes outside Bath lays stately home of Great Chalfield Manor used in the filming of The Other Boleyn Girl (2008).
- The moated manor house of Great Chalfield was built around 1465-1480 and served as the home of the Boleyn girls.
By Rail: There are regular train services direct from London Paddington with a journey time of 90 minutes. Bristol Temple Meads, just 15 minutes away by train is also a major hub for travel to all other parts of the country. For further information visit www.nationalrail.co.uk
By Bus (called a Coach in the UK): National Express links Bath to all major towns and cities in the UK. For further information visit www.gobycoach.co.uk